“Red Dog” (2011)

Here we have yet another man and his dog story. And it does very little to deviate, plot wise at least, from the typical formula. So, what makes this film overcome its clichéd plot? Two words; sheer conviction. The sheer level of dedication, and obvious love that the filmmakers had for the material is clear, and quite infectious. The film’s style is also so unconventional for a film like this, sometimes turning into a live action cartoon one scene, a straightforward adult drama in the next, and then a genuinely hilarious comedic set piece the next. It’s a meshing that you wouldn’t think would work, but shockingly it does; it helps give the film a unique identity. It also does fantastic work at illustrating a sense of community and camaraderie between a mining community, with an oddball cast of characters that, while not complex, are memorable, likable, and feel like real genuine people. Entertaining, heartwarming, and poignant, Red Dog is a lesser known dog film, but one that’s just as good as the likes of Hachi and Marley & Me, and deserves to find an audience.

Rating: 4/5

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